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First Nation in northern Manitoba dealing with COVID 19 outbreak, shuts down school

Click to play video: 'First Nation in northern Manitoba dealing with COVID 19 outbreak, shuts down school' First Nation in northern Manitoba dealing with COVID 19 outbreak, shuts down school
A First Nation in northern Manitoba is experiencing its first outbreak of COVID-19 as the province deals with the fourth wave of the pandemic – Oct 15, 2021

A First Nation in northern Manitoba is experiencing its first outbreak of COVID-19 as the province deals with the fourth wave of the pandemic.

Norway House Cree Nation, located about 800 kilometres north of Winnipeg, has had a recent surge in cases, which it says originated from outside the community in early September.

Read more: Saskatchewan looking at sending some COVID-19 ICU patients to Manitoba

Chief Larson Anderson said that as of Tuesday there were 84 active cases and 87 recovered cases in the community. One member also died after contracting the virus.

He added that most of the cases were of people who are fully vaccinated, as well as children and adults aged 20 to 29 and 40 to 49.

Click to play video: 'Manitoba MMIWG advocate Bernice Catcheway in ICU with COVID-19, family says' Manitoba MMIWG advocate Bernice Catcheway in ICU with COVID-19, family says
Manitoba MMIWG advocate Bernice Catcheway in ICU with COVID-19, family says – Oct 14, 2021

The community has shut down its school to prevent further spread of the virus.

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A statement from the First Nation said half of its cases are from household contacts.

“Overcrowded homes, lack of proper heat and ventilation, inadequate washrooms and healthy space for families are contributing to the pandemic emergency,” said Anderson.

Read more: 107 new cases, 2 deaths from COVID-19 in Manitoba Thursday

Norway House has about 7,500 members living on the reserve, according to its website.

At the start of the pandemic, it developed its own pandemic response gauge, said the statement.

The First Nation is at a critical stage in its pandemic response, it said, with staff working to contain case numbers with contact tracing, testing and isolation and a community-wide lockdown.

Click to play video: 'Manitoba COVID-19 study looks at who is most vulnerable' Manitoba COVID-19 study looks at who is most vulnerable
Manitoba COVID-19 study looks at who is most vulnerable – Oct 13, 2021

Manitoba’s First Nations pandemic response team said this week it is seeing an upswing in new cases in First Nations people. On Wednesday, the team reported 31 new cases and on Thursday it reported 55.

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There were 963 active cases of the virus in the province as of Friday, with First Nations people accounting for about 520 of those cases.

Read more: Manitoba MMIWG advocate Bernice Catcheway in ICU with COVID-19, family says

“The concern with this virus, and particularly the Delta variant, is how easily and quickly it can spread, which leads to that kind of exponential growth,” Dr. Marcia Anderson, medical lead with the team, said during a livestream Thursday.

She said there are active cases in about 17 First Nations communities in the province.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

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To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus. In some provinces and municipalities across the country, masks or face coverings are now mandatory in indoor public spaces.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, visit our coronavirus page.

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